Christmas is coming and instead of asking bank of mum and dad for some money to help pay for Christmas, now kids can get their own payday loan!
But, wait! Before you get too angry, read on.
Today saw the launch of the first payday loan shop created especially for children. Although it’s been online for a little while, the shop is a step forward for little kids in London to get their hands on some early pocket money, with an APR just as competitive as Wonga!
So, as long as you are 3 years old, want to borrow up to £20 and get the money in your account in just 3 minutes then this loan is for you!
“But some adults don’t want you to have everything you want. They want to stop you having fun and make you “save up” and be “responsible”. Well we say bum to that! Tomorrow can get lost!”
Pocket Money Loans wants kids to “buy what they can’t afford” – how ridiculous is that?!
I mean with an APR of 5,000% it’s likely that it’s not the initial loan they can’t afford to repay but the cost of the interest!
As well as pocket money loans, they’re offering “log book loans” on their toy card, sub-prime ‘bouncy castle mortgages’ and rent-to-buy deals on gobstoppers.
When I first heard about this damn company I was livid! I mean really?! The amount of false, dodgy, unregulated payday loan companies out there is awful. It wasn’t long back one tried to advertise on this site and, instead of getting anywhere, I twigged that they were dodgy and reported them!
However, after getting over the right idiocy of offering a loan to kids, then seeing what would happen if I took one out (and got this message) it finally dawned on me.
Poor taste, but clever and quite funny; this is actually a piece of art – yes art!
Darren Cullen, who is a London based artist, came up with the whole idea to get people to see how the credit industry preys on the vulnerable. Children are so keenly marketed to all sorts of things and the colourful and playful marketing of Pocket Money Loans would draw them straight in.
However, what makes it even better (in a strange way) is how angry people are getting. Not realising it’s a satirical joke (or piece of art), people are getting really, really angry!
How low can the pay day loan sharks get? http://t.co/TZmm7mAqVU
— Michael L Smith (@SussexCreative) October 25, 2014
— Stuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu (@pqr_STU_vwxyz) October 23, 2014
A payday loan company for kids! To lend against their pocket money! Really! Is there no end to the exploitation!
— Zena’s Suitcase (@zenas_suitcase) October 22, 2014
“Normal” payday loans don’t seem to get this much reaction. When covered in bright colours and fun characters, with really high interest rates, trying to market them to children really gets people’s backs up. Well of course it would!
Well, actually, isn’t that what “normal” payday loan companies do? They get a loan with interest that’s too high and market it to people who don’t have much money, are desperate for money and will leave them in a spiral of debt! Why are people not as angry at normal payday loan companies?
Cullen has spotted that other payday loan companies have cartoon mascots, animated characters and jingles in their adverts, all of which are attractive to kids. They also hand out balloons and sweets to kids at counters and have play areas with toys – making them the perfect environment for kids and giving their parents a great place to take them. The way he sees it is that the payday loan companies are actually “grooming” the next generation of customers – our children – to be “indebted customers”!
It certainly is an interesting way to think about payday loans. I keep hearing that payday loan companies are being forced to shut down by the OFT and keep hoping that the government will step in and put in proper barriers; not only to stop the greed of the companies with high interest rates but to try and put in more protection for the consumers, helping to stop them being trapped by debt.
It may be like marmite but if you fancy doing something a bit different this half term, then why not pop along to the art exhibition at Finsbury Park’s new Atom Gallery, 77 Stroud Green Road. It runs through until 8 November.
So, is this art too far?
Ricky Willis is the original Skint Dad. A money-making enthusiast, father, and husband to Naomi. He is always looking for unique ways to earn a little extra.